The Shrunken Head (Curiosity House Series #1)

The Shrunken Head (Curiosity House Series #1)

by Lauren Oliver, H. C. Chester

Audio CD(Unabridged)

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Edgar Award nominee for Best Juvenile Mystery

The book is about, among other things: the strongest boy in the world, a talking cockatoo, a faulty mind reader, a beautiful bearded lady and a nervous magician, an old museum, and a shrunken head.

Blessed with extraordinary abilities, orphans Philippa, Sam, and Thomas have grown up happily in Dumfrey’s Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Wonders. But when a fourth child, Max, a knife-thrower, joins the group, it sets off an unforgettable chain of events.

When the museum’s Amazonian shrunken head is stolen, the four are determined to get it back. But their search leads them to a series of murders and an explosive secret about their pasts.

This sensational new series—a 2016 Edgar nominee for Best Juvenile book and New York Times bestseller—combines the unparalleled storytelling gifts of Lauren Oliver with the rich knowledge of the notorious relics collector H. C. Chester.

What you will find in this book:

  • A rather attractive bearded lady
  • Several scandalous murders
  • A deliciously disgusting Amazonian shrunken head
  • Four extraordinary children with equally extraordinary abilities
  • A quite loquacious talking bird

What you will NOT find in this book:

  • An accountant named Seymour
  • A never-ending line at the post office
  • Brussel sprouts (shudder)
  • A lecture on finishing all your homework on time
  • A sweet, gooey story for nice little girls and boys

Learn more about the series online at

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781504646635
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/29/2015
Series: Curiosity House Series , #1
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 6.60(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Lauren Oliver captivated readers with her first novel, the New York Times bestseller Before I Fall, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. She followed that up with Delirium, the first book in her New York Times bestselling trilogy, which continued with Pandemonium. Oliver is also the author of Liesl & Po, a book for middle-grade readers, which received three starred reviews and was described as "a gorgeous story-timeless and magical" by Newbery Medal winner Rebecca Stead. A graduate of the University of Chicago and NYU's MFA program, Oliver lives in Brooklyn, New York.

H. C. Chester is a collector of unusual relics who came into possession of the artifacts of the museum's estate and discovered the story of the four children.

Greg Steinbruner is an actor, audiobook narrator, playwright, and public-speaking consultant. He studied at NYU's Tisch School and writes, directs, and produces his own plays in New York City. He has lent his vocal talents to such books as The Magic Thief, Larklight, Starcross, and the Origami Yoda series.

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The Shrunken Head (Curiosity House Series #1) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
This_Kid_Reviews_Books More than 1 year ago
Synopsis- In New York City, there is a building. The sign outside reads “Dumfrey’s Dime Museum”, and it has the “Largest Collection of Oddities, the Strangest Assortment of Freaks, and Novel and Astounding Exhibitions Comprising More Than One Thousand Curiosities from Every Portion of the Globe.” In it, lives the performers. Orphans Sam, Philippa, and Thomas have been raised by Mr. Dumfrey, the owner, along with the other performers. Sam is extremely strong – so strong that he breaks things without even trying. Thomas is a contortionist – it’s like his bones turn to rubber. Philippa is a mentalist – a true one, who, at the least, can see the contents of your pocket. Then an orphan girl named Max shows up – she can throw a knife like nobody’s business, and she’ll make sure it’s not your business! When the Museum’s newest claim to fame is stolen, and people who interacted with it start turning up dead, the kids decide to take things into their own hands, especially when the police start barking up the wrong tree! Can they find the murderer before Mr. Dumfrey gets put into the slammer (on accusations of child-cruelty and possible murder)? What I Thought- This was a thrilling book. It has a good murder mystery. The book has a rather dark tone to it, but that being said, I rather much enjoyed it and even though there are some heavy subjects in the book (murder) I found the story appropriate for a younger audience too. I think it is a credit to the authors. The characters are top-notch realistic. You really feel for them. It is really cool how the authors bring the story together after setting up the plot. At several points I thought that I knew who was behind it, but the authors added a good amount of twists and turns that I soon was guessing what I thought was true. It was a very fun read. I really enjoyed every minute with the characters, and am happy that there is at least one other book to look forward to. *NOTE* I got a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
DonnaGalanti More than 1 year ago
It’s carnival Clue for kids, but with a darker side. This fun (but somewhat gruesome) tale will have you chasing a cursed shrunken head through 1930’s NYC streets along with a colorful group of misfits. Murder after murder piles up, and it’s up to four young performers who live at the Dumfrey’s Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Wonders to solve the case. The oddball cast of characters adds to the excitement and thrill of this middle-grade adventure. Through their strengths, skills, and differences we see that it’s not only okay to be out of the ordinary – it’s extraordinary. The “don’t judge a book by its cover” message makes for good discussion for parents reading with their children. We see that what’s on the outside of a person does not necessarily reflect what’s on the inside (although in this case, this book’s lovely illustrations delivers on the adventure between its pages!). With so many deaths, bloodshed, and criminal activities, I did find this story a bit too dark for the younger and more sensitive reader although comic lines lighten the dark moments. Older tweens and adults will enjoy it. This orphaned group is fiercely loyal to their own and work well together using their many talents to solve the murders, and save their home. Being a heavy plot and action story, the character development could have been deepened. I am hoping to get more of that with the continued series. Readers will be satisfied at the end as the murder mystery is solved and questions raised early on fold back around to reveal the additional mystery surrounding the children’s background. Recommended for mystery adventure fans ages 10 and up. I received an advanced copy from Harper Collins, and was thrilled to also receive the gorgeous hardcover upon release.
NYwriter More than 1 year ago
We LOVE Curiosity House in this house!